Grand Prix Havana

Hungarian Joo Abigel claimed her third IJF grand prix title when she won gold in the -78kg category on the third and final day of competition at the Havana Grand Prix. 

Widely regarded as one of the most difficult opponents in the category, Joo lived up to her reputation, particularly in the semi final, where she narrowly defeated the reigning Olympic champion and number one seed Kayla Harrison (USA by a single shido. When asked in our post-match interview about her match-up with Harrison, the happy and glowing Joo answered, "Of course one is always eager to compete against the best fighters and Harrison was the favourite here. So I was pleased not only to defeat her but also that my plan to close down her attacking options worked.” Joo had lost to Harrison at the London Olympics in 2012 and was asked whether that loss remained an issue for her to which she responded, "I was not thinking about the Olympic Games and I’ve left that disappointment behind me long ago.” In addition to defeating number one seed Harrison, Joo also managed to defeat number two seed Luise Malzahn (GER) whom she threw for ippon in the final. This capped a fine day that saw Joo defeat three of her four opponents by ippon. Joo looked far more relaxed than usual and she later described the reasons why, "In the past I set my mind on winning medals. But now I focus more on performing to the best of my ability. There is less pressure this way and I find that the results come with less stress.” Joo was asked whether there were other factors that had contributed to this seemingly more relaxed approach, for example her reported love of painting, "The painting is just a hobby and a past time. I am studying to be a civil engineer and, perhaps, this kind of regime is helping to bring focus and order to my life." With regard to what is next on her busy competition schedule Joo said, "I will compete next in Paris and Dusseldorf. But today’s result makes things a little easier as far as my options are concerned and the points will help to make my position on the world ranking list more solid."

-90 kg

1. GONZALEZ, Asley (CUB) 2. TOTH, Krisztian (HUN) 3. GROSSKLAUS, Ciril (SUI) 3. KUKOLJ, Aleksandar (SRB)

-100 kg

1. BLOSHENKO, Artem (UKR) 2. FREY, Karl-Richard (GER) 3. CIRJENICS, Miklos (HUN) 3. MAMMADOV, Elkhan (AZE)

+100 kg

1. SAIDOV, Renat (RUS) 2. BOR, Barna (HUN) 3. BREITBARTH, Andre (GER) 3. GARCIA MENDOZA, Alex (CUB)

-78 kg

1. JOO, Abigel (HUN) 2. MALZAHN, Luise (GER) 3. GALEONE, Assunta (ITA) 3. HARRISON, Kayla (USA)

+78 kg

1. ORTIZ, Idalys (CUB) 2. LOUETTE KANNING, Lucie (FRA) 3. IAROMKA, Svitlana (UKR) 3. ZAMBOTTI, Vanessa (MEX)




01/24/2016 | 02:20 pm | in
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01/23/2016 | 02:37 pm | in
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